ISLAMABAD:- Pakistan has spent $876 million on import of2.2 million metric tonnes wheat to cater the local demand due to low domestic wheat production during the first eight months of the current fiscal year.
According to the government data, the USD starving country has spent 876 million on import of 2,202,972 metric tones wheat from different countries to meet the local demand due to shortage of local wheat production.
It is pertinent to mention here that the country had produced 27 million tons wheat last season which was almost 8 percent increase over the 25 million tons produced in the previous year. Despite that pumper wheat crop, the dollar starving country has estimated to import 3.0 million metric tons wheat to meet the local requirement during the season.
The country has also the lowest per yield wheat production due to non-availability of better seeds, latest techniques and technology as compared to the other countries. Pakistan’s yield of wheat is around 2.4 tones per acre which is lower as compared to other countries.
Some experts believe that the there is a huge scope to increase yield per acre of wheat through relatively simple changes in the production system without using financial resources. Reduced tillage, increased use of certified seeds, use of seed drills, a better match between fertilizer applications and soils, and application of micro-nutrients can also increase the production of wheat without increasing sowing area. There is also a large potential scope to reduce on-farm and off-farm losses through improved harvesting, bulk handling and storage in modern silos.
The official data shows that the country spent $6.687 billion on import of food during to the country despite tight policy to open letter of comfort due to shortage of greenback foreign currency.
The country is facing serious shortage of forex reserves in the county due to high foreign payments of heavy repayments of principle foriegn loans, high import bill, low receipts of exports, worker remittances, foreign Investment and external loans.
The country has imported 159,562 metric ton tea worth Rs396.5 million from Kenya and Sri Lanka during the last eight months of the current fiscal year. There are reports that dozens of containers of imported tea are stuck at ports due to LCs issues.
The USD starving Pakistan has spent $2.681 billion on import of 2.15 million tones palm oil to cater the country’s ghee and oil during the eight months of the current fiscal year. According to the report, the country as spent $ 107.3 million on import of milk, cream and milk food infants, $27 million on import of dry fruits and nuts, $104 million on spices, $203.6 million on soybean oil, $3.88 million on import of sugar and $1.63 billion on different food items during the eight months of the current fiscal year.